Are professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) bundles really a good deal for customers?

Maybe not, according to a new blog post by Jim Barnet, head of sales and marketing for Toronto-based Promys Inc.

Full disclosure: Promys is a developer of standalone PSA software for domestic and international providers of IT solutions and managed services.

But in making his argument, Barnet cites the case study of Nathanial Baumsteiger, a veteran MSP and principal at NSB Consulting, who described his experience after purchasing a PSA/RMM bundle for his firm.

You can read the full blog for yourself, but following are excerpts from Baumsteiger's account.

Integration

NB: “After implementing our RMM in 2013, we started evaluating the same vendor’s bundled PSA. The key advantage promised was seamless PSA/RMM integration. Their ‘seamless integration’ may not have any seams, but it sure does have lots of folds and wrinkles. We spent hours pouring over technical documentation, going back-and-forth with support technicians at both companies who constantly finger-pointed at each other. We still manually enter data that was promised to flow between the bundled PSA and RMM seamlessly. The data generated in the PSA from the RMM became so verbose that it was essentially useless. As a result, the PSA flooded our technicians’ e-mail inboxes with so much unnecessary chatter that we began missing actual client service requests. It’s not that there were no useful integration points between the bundled PSA/RMM, it’s just that the integration benefits were completely over-sold.”

Value

NB: “I was sold the PSA/RMM bundle concept, only to find out after the iron-clad contract was signed that there were a lot of ‘oh..by the way’ charges:”

- ‘Oh…you want this feature, function or module…that’s going to cost extra.’

- ‘Oh…you want a full-service, working solution out of the box…that’s going to cost extra.’

- ‘Oh…you want your team to learn how to use the everyday functions of those modules/services…that’s going to cost extra.’

“Additional fees for added functionality are expected. But these fees should have been spelled out upfront and – most importantly – the basic promises made in the sales process by the PSA/RMM bundled vendor should have been met before asking for more money.”

Did the product fit customer requirements

NB: “The truth is, the bundled vendor’s RMM solution was adequate and with appropriate setup and training could have been a staple in our organization, but their PSA was barely ‘OK’. The level of actual useful integration between the two products, it turns out, is not much different than any of the independent PSA and RMM solutions that we’re now evaluating. All of this flies in the face of what I was originally promised.”

 

Have you purchased a PSA/RMM bundle? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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